No evidence China is helping Russia, says Biden.  schools close in Russian border region: Live updates

No evidence China is helping Russia, says Biden. schools close in Russian border region: Live updates

So far there is “no indication” that China has tried to help Russia with weapons or “other things that Russia wanted” in its war against Ukraine, President Joe Biden told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview that will be broadcast on Sunday.

Biden also said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping shortly after Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February and strongly discouraged the Chinese leader from helping Russia.

“I said, ‘If you think that the Americans and others will continue to invest in China based on the violation of sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, I think you are making a huge mistake, but that is your decision. ,” Biden said on the news show.

In a much-anticipated meeting on Thursday, Putin acknowledged that China had “questions and concerns” about the war, which took a dramatic turn last week when Ukraine regained much of the territory it had lost in the northeast. Xi has made no public mention of the conflict, a possible sign of lukewarm support from his government.

TURNING POINT?:As Russia concedes defeat in Kharkiv, Ukraine regains ground, confidence

Latest developments:

►Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska was among foreign dignitaries who appeared at London’s Westminster Hall on Sunday to pay their last respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

►Olga Simonova, 34, a Russian who was killed fighting for Ukraine in the war, was given a three-gun salute and her coffin draped in the Ukrainian flag at her funeral in Kyiv over the weekend. Known as “Simba”, Simonova was 34 years old.

Schools are closing in the Russian border region

The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region ordered schools to operate remotely from Monday as the Ukrainian army’s counteroffensive moved closer to the border.

Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Sunday that dozens of homes and recreational areas had been damaged by Ukrainian artillery.

The US sent long-range artillery to Ukraine on the condition that it not be used to bomb Russian cities and towns. But Ukrainian troops have pushed close enough to the Russian border to reach those cities with their own equipment.

“I have decided that starting tomorrow, schools in the Belgorod region in a 10-kilometer zone along the border will be transferred to distance education,” Gladkov said in a VK social media post.

The post prompted many responses from locals urging Gladkov to create a battalion of volunteers to provide protection, including border mining.

“Why did other regions of the country start self-mobilization, while our region, regularly bombed, having the largest border with the enemy, hesitates?” wrote Andrey Rozenberg. “Self-defense detachments must be created.”

Discovery of Russian torture tools prompts investigation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said more than 10 “torture chambers” have been found in the Kharkiv region since a counter-attack forced Russian forces to retreat last week.

The district’s prosecutor’s office told Telegram that an investigation was launched after tools of torture and documents were seized that showed the Russians had established a police force that operated a prison where the alleged abuse took place.

Russian forces have been accused of committing atrocities and war crimes at various stages of the conflict, most notably in the Kiev suburb of Bucha. Reports of these tactics alarmed the world and bolstered support for Ukraine. Last week, officials said they found more than 440 graves outside Kharkiv’s Izium city with bodies showing signs of violent deaths.

Zelensky said on Saturday night that “a torture chamber and tools for electric torture” were found at the railway station in the city of Kozacha Lopan in Kharkiv and compared the Russians to the Nazis during World War II.

“And they will respond in kind,” he said, “both on the battlefield and in the courtrooms.”

The Pope’s envoy fired in Ukraine

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, an envoy of Pope Francis, was shot dead on Saturday while delivering humanitarian aid in the name of Pope Francis near the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, the Vatican said. Krajewski appeared “unharmed and continued his mission,” the Vatican News Agency said.

Krajewski’s team, which included a Catholic bishop, a Protestant bishop and a Ukrainian soldier, came under light weapons fire while doing their job outside Zaporizhzhia and sought cover, he said. They escaped unharmed.

The incident took place on the ninth anniversary of Krajewski’s ordination on September 17, 2013, at St. Peter’s Basilica during a ceremony attended by Pope Francis. The cardinal said he and his team loaded a minibus with supplies and drove to the front line – where “nobody but soldiers go in anymore” because of heavy fighting – when the fire started.

“For the first time in my life, I didn’t know where to run,” he told Vatican News. “It’s not enough to run. You have to know where to go.”

Eventually, the shooting stopped and the team continued to provide aid.

Russian singer asks to be added to foreign agent list

The hugely popular Russian singer Alla Pugacheva said on Sunday that she wants to be put on Russia’s foreign agent list in solidarity with her husband. Her Instagram post comes after Pugacheva’s husband, singer and TV presenter Maxim Galkin, was added to the foreign agent registry on Saturday by the Justice Department. Galkin, who has criticized Russia for sending troops to Ukraine, is accused of conducting political activities on behalf of Ukraine and receiving Ukrainian funding. Galkin replied that he won money in Ukraine in a comedy show years ago.

“The reasoning behind the decision is that I allegedly receive funds from Ukraine, with which I do political activities,” he said on Instagram. “First of all, I don’t do political activities. On stage at my concerts I do humor and political satire, as I have been doing for 28 years.”

Contributed by The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ukraine Update: No Evidence China Is Helping Russia, Biden Says

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